A law firm filed a class-action lawsuit against the parent company of the popular sparkling beverage LaCroix, alleging that the “all natural” drink actually contains “number of artificial ingredients,” according to CBS News.
“Testing reveals that LaCroix contains a number of artificial ingredients, including linalool, which is used in cockroach insecticide,” the firm suing the company said in a statement.
The chemical in question, linalool, is in fact used in some cockroach insecticides. It is also an ingredient in floral fragrances, as evidenced by Lush.
The lawsuit says that LaCroix and its parent company, National Beverage, were fully aware of the synthetic chemicals in their sparkling water, yet are “intentionally misleading consumers,” according to CBS Philly.
The lawsuit aims to “award damages to those who purchased the drink under the assumption that it was all natural.”
National Beverage Company released a statement of their own, categorically denying the allegations in the suit, saying that the company “categorically denies all allegations” and that the suit “provides no support for its false statements.” The beverage maker further notes that it “stands by” its ingredient statement and “the fact that all the flavor essences in LaCroix are natural.”
The company continued by claiming the suit was both false and defamatory, “intended to intentionally damage” the company and its shareholders.
According to Popular Science, however, the suit might not be as solid as it appears to be, calling it a “stretch.”
Popular Science also said that linalool — along with limonene and linalool propionate — “don’t exactly qualify as synthetic,” and aren’t as dangerous as the suit indicates.
According to Popular Science, limonene is a “naturally occurring chemical” found in citrus peels, and linalool is “naturally occurring” in flowers, spice plants, and herbs. While linalool is in fact used in insecticides, it isn’t poisonous to humans. Linalyl propionate is made from plants like ginger and lavender, and is also a common flavoring and fragrance additive.
On top of that, linalyl has reportedly been shown to actually inhibit the proliferation of prostate cancer, as opposed to what the suit claims.
While this lawsuit might not be sound according to some, this isn’t the first time that the company has faced controversy.
Nick Caporella, the chief executive officer of National Beverage Corp., has been accused of improper touching by two former company employees — according to reporting by the Wall Street Journal.
Two Florida pilots accused the 82-year-old CEO of what they called “unwanted touching in the cockpit,” along with a lawsuit filed in 2016 that accuses Caporella of “repeated unjustified, unwarranted and uninvited grabbing, rubbing and groping.”